Brightling by Rebecca Lisle


Written by Rebecca Lisle

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Orphans and magic have proved to be a dynamic combination! Sparrow is an orphan whose time at the orphanage is now up. On leaving, she has only one thing to guide her forward to this new phase in her life: the name of the town on her baby shawl. Sparrow sets out boldly in search of safety, finding comfort in the company of other girls led by Miss Minter. But, in a world of spitfyres and the gloriously glowing brightling, there’s mystery and magic afoot and Miss Minter is at the heart of it.

Rebecca Lisle is also the author of The Spin which is one of our Books of the Year 2013 and was reviewed by our Lovereading Review Panel. Download the first chapter of The Spin and see what our readers thought of it!


Brightling by Rebecca Lisle

Thrown out of the Knip and Pynch Children's Home, Sparrow is an orphan accompanied only by her loyal cat Scaramouch and a single clue to her real family. Sparrow travels to the town of Stollenbach where, lost and afraid she is taken in by Gloriana, a strange and colourful street girl. Sparrow thinks she has found a home in the 'nest' - a hideout for homeless girls run by the beautiful but menacing Miss Minter. Sparrow is taught to make matches and stay quiet but all is not as it seems. And what does the vicious Tapper want with Sparrow? As Sparrow uncovers a web of strange and suspicious secrets she finds herself at the heart of an undercover smuggling trade with a price on her head. Kidnapped, beaten and locked in the coal cellar Sparrow's dream of finding a family seems impossible.

A wonderful re-imagining of Oliver Twist, Sparrow's adventure realises the dark secrets of Dickensian London with a fantastical twist for younger readers.

About the Author

Rebecca Lisle

Rebecca Lisle was born in Leeds to two artists. Having studied Botany at Newcastle University she then completed a PGCE at Oxford. Rebecca lived in France, Manhattan, and England before becoming a 'proper' writer. Awarded a distinction for her MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa, Rebecca is now married with three almost grown-up sons, who are the inspiration for many stories. When she is not writing Rebecca paints peculiar pictures of dogs.

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Book Info


336 pages
Interest Age: From 9


Rebecca Lisle
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Hot Key Books

Publication date

2nd January 2014




Publisher Profile

Hot Key Books is an imprint of Hot Key

logo Hot Key Books, a division of Bonnier Publishing, publish stand out, quality fiction, for 9 – 19 year olds, print and digital that people like to talk about. If you are looking for something a little bit different from your books, something a little bit special then Hot Key Books may well have just what you want.

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